I've seem many Hex Beam builders use different materials to construct
their base plate. So if your going to use whatever materials you
have handy around the house that will work then go for it.
I started with a 12x12 inch square aluminum sheet 3/16 inch thick.
The aluminum sheet was purchased from onlinemetals, cost $23.00 plus
shipping at the time I purchased it. Many builders have used
different shapes for their base plate. As the saying goes measure
twice and cut once. I should have followed the golden rule.
After messing up the cut on the aluminum sheet, I was out one day
with the XYL and came across some poster board at a craft store; I
used that to make a template to ensure I get the cut and shape
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After making a template made from poster
board I had the correct pattern. Since I did not purchase another
aluminum sheet I used a scrap piece of 3/4 inch plywood from
Baseplate Fig 2 Baseplate Fig 3
Fig 2 shows the baseplate with all the holes drilled out for all
the hardware except for the floor flange. Fig 3 shows the floor
flange with the center post installed. The aluminum tubing on the
baseplate was used to support the crappy fishing poles that I had
started out with. More about this later.
I put four coats of black paint on the baseplate. Then added
another four coats of (Varathane Spar Urethane), which is
used to protect outdoor furniture. This should last for sometime
before I have to change it. Now that I have a template, I should
trouble cutting out a new aluminum sheet.
If you do not want to make your own baseplate you can purchase it
from two places. One is Dx Engineering for $99.95 which is made very
well. One of the best I've seen. Or you can purchase it from Hexkit.com.
Dx Engineering Baseplate.
Constructing The Baseplate:
There are four steps to making a baseplate from a 12x12 aluminum
sheet. Photo's below are courtesy of K4KIO Leo Shoemaker.
Here's the 12x12 aluminum sheet you'll start with. Or if you choose
to used 3/4 plywood.
A printable version of this is available at K4KIO website. Click
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Here's a picture of what my aluminum baseplate look like. Again
remember to measure twice and cut once. I now have a hexagon
ground radial plate for my home brew vertical antenna. It may look
like a good cut but it isn't.
Up Date March 30, 2010:
Since I needed to re-do my antenna support system and will have to
take the antenna down. I decided to re-do the baseplate. I purchased
another aluminum plate this time from Hexkit. Which also comes with
a template for cutting and drilling out the u-bolt holes. The plate
measure 10x12. You only need to make four cuts, and then drill out
holes for your u-bolts. I had only one problem. My u-bolts are 1
inch which are a little bigger then those used with the Hexkit
baseplate. So I had to make adjustment for the u-bolt holes. Below
are some pictures of the new baseplate.
New 10x12 Plate Baseplate Template
Cuts Complete Prepare To Drill
Plate Hole Drill
New Jig Saw after burning out the other one when cutting the first
aluminum plate which I had for sometime.